Thousands attend Oroville Hmong New Year Festival


OROVILLE, Calif. - Thousands of people descended on Oroville this weekend for the Oroville Hmong New Year Festival at the Nelson Sports Park.

The annual event draws people from up and down California and from as far away as Michigan and North Carolina.

Booths offered toys and traditional clothing.

Hmong food was also a main attraction with barbeque pits and bubble tea.

Many in attendance also donned traditional garb for the biggest Hmong New Year celebration north of Sacramento.

Hmong people first started coming to the U.S. in 1975 and events like this help to keep their culture alive and strong.

"For 38 years we have still maintained our culture and our annual celebration without letting it go," said Ted Vang with the Oroville Hmong New Year Festival. "And us, the younger generation like myself who are serving our community throughout California, want to be sure that we keep the traditional for a long long time and at the same time learn and adapt to the American culture."

Vang also says that everyone, young and old, prepares throughout the year for the new year celebration, because it's so important to the community.

The event has become a huge money maker for the City of Oroville as well, packing hotels and stimulating business.

For that reason, city leaders have reduced the cost of renting out the Nelson Sports Park, and have helped in other ways as well.

All proceeds from the festival go back to the Hmong community in Butte County.

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